Marijuana reform advocates are seeing a number of positive signals in the push to legalize marijuana in New York—with the governor saying a deal is “very close” and a new resolution from the Senate saying that a legalization bill “shall be passed outside of the budget process.” While Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) included his own legalization plan in his budget request, the final version is expected to more closely resemble a proposal sponsored by two key lawmakers, and it will be handled outside of the annual spending legislation. If either side needed any further motivation to act, a new poll released on Monday confirms again that a majority of New Yorkers support the policy change. The news about how the legislation will be handled moving forward is welcomed by advocates who feel that lawmakers’ Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) more comprehensively address social equity issues compared to the governor’s proposal. However, the legislature is still working to resolve a number of provisions before the language is released. The governor previously insisted on enacting the reform through the budget process, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the plan anymore.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 03/15/2021 13:32:00